Sunday, Feb. 2nd 2014

Business progress, video, litter box problems in cats

February 2014 Veterinary Alternatives Newsletter

Watch me on YouTube!

Recently I taped a video, about seven minutes long, describing my holistic philosophy and talking about Whole Health Pet Center.  If you are interested in watching this video, you can cut and paste this link into your browser window…

If you like it, please share it with your friends!

Business progress and plans

And speaking of Whole Health Pet Center, things are progressing as well as can be expected.  Closing on the property is scheduled for March 1.  After that, we’ll get the renovations started to turn it from an equine clinic to one more appropriate for small animals (like adding exam rooms and a larger waiting room).  While those progress, I will be purchasing equipment and supplies, getting a new website designed, and selecting and learning to use a clinic software system for record keeping.  My current goal is to open sometime in early to mid-May with a limited schedule to tweak the details and make sure everything is working smoothly.  A Grand Opening celebration will be scheduled on a Saturday around the end of May or first of June, to which you will all be invited!

Services offered at Whole Health Pet Center will initially be all those I currently deliver in my house call practice; acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional supplements and counseling, custom diet plans, cold laser, and behavior consultation.  In addition, more conventional veterinary services offered will include full lab testing, x-rays, dental care, vaccinations and vaccine titers, parasite testing, and most medical therapies.  Only minor outpatient surgeries will be offered initially. Other surgical patients will be referred to local clinics for elective types of surgery, and to specialty centers for non-elective surgeries where patients can receive the greater experience and monitoring of a referral center.  I hope to also offer the services of a pet massage therapist once or twice a month, or more if demand indicates a need.  Monthly pet educational seminars on a number of topics and weekly puppy classes on a rotating six-week schedule will round out the services we offer.

The building is located about half a mile west of 291 Highway on 58 Highway in Cass County.  The address is in Raymore, but it’s essentially about equal distance from Raymore, Pleasant Hill, and Lee’s Summit.  The closest community is Lake Winnebago, two miles to the north.  This may seem like quite a drive for many of you, but I hope you’ll take advantage of the peace and beauty of the rural area and come to see us anyway!  We plan to offer drop-off services at no extra charge, if you find it convenient to drop your pet off and come back later after their treatment is done.  There is plenty of good shopping in the area, and many of the small communities in Cass County have a number of antique stores as well so the area is worth a visit!  We’ll be happy to refer you to anyplace you are looking for in terms of shopping, restaurants, and more.

You may get a few more e-mails than usual as this develops, to notify you of changes in how to contact Dr Leonard, changes to the website or Facebook page, or other things we feel you need to know.  I may be looking into an email service as well to make this easier.  Finally, as the website gets developed I will probably be switching the format of these newsletters to a blog instead.  In that case, you will simply receive an email with a link to the blog as it is updated instead of the full text of the newsletter.  The good thing about this is that I can then attach the blog to my website and categorize the blogs for easier searching if you like to refer back to certain topics.

Cats and litter box use

I often get asked about what to do about cats that are failing to use their litter box consistently.  There are a number of suggestions to try when seeking a solution to this problem.  The first thing I always tell cat owners is that they need to have the cat checked by a veterinarian for medical problems which may be affecting their urination habits.  Bladder infections or stones may cause painful urination which causes the cat to continually seek out a new place to go, hoping it won’t hurt if they try somewhere new.  Diseases such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes may cause increased water consumption and increased urination which may lead to accidents as well.  Once those problems have been ruled out or addressed it’s time to pay attention to the behavior.  General rules of thumb are that cats have preferences for the look, feel, and smell of their litter box.  In general, they prefer finer textured litter, not so deep they sink in but enough to dig and cover their waste.  They tend to prefer unscented litter, and uncovered boxes as the covers tend to trap odor.  Keeping the box very clean will often help cats with finicky box habits.  There should be one box for each cat in the household, plus one extra, as some cats prefer to urinate in one and defecate in another and some cats don’t like to share.  Make sure the litter box is not kept next to the food or water dish as cats don’t want to eat in their bathroom any more than you would. And some cats don’t want to go down a flight or two of stairs to find their only box somewhere in a back corner of the basement, especially if they are older.  However, these are just rules of thumb.  If you have a cat that fails to use the box every time, one place to start is to provide several boxes side by side with a different type of litter in each to see what they like best.  The scoopable unscented clay litter is a good one to include as the urine clumps and can be removed with the stool, leaving a cleaner box.  Pay attention to the dynamics with other cats in the home.  Sometimes one cat will actually ambush the other around the box, making the cat reluctant to use it.  If you have a cat with long-standing refusal to use the box, you may have to confine the cat in a small enough area that they have little choice but to use the box, gradually enlarging the space they are allowed as they get better about using it.  And of course, you need to clean all areas they have soiled thoroughly, preferably with an enzymatic cleaner that gets all the way to the subsurface to remove odors which might attract the cat back to that area.  I hope if you have cats with this problem that these suggestions will help!

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Whole Health Pet Center
18011 E St. Rte 58
Raymore, MO 64083

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